January Real Estate Market Starts on Solid Ground
February 3, 2014
VICTORIA BC - Victoria's real estate market had a solid start in January, re-establishing momentum after the holiday season.
Total MLS® sales in January were 342, a 16.3% increase over January 2013 when 294 units sold. January sales were close to the 355 sales reported to the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB) in December 2013.
2014 VREB President, Tim Ayres cautioned, "While we're pleased with the number of sales this January and the percentage increases over January 2013, it's important to remember that the market last January was restrained under tightened mortgage amortization rules imposed in July 2012."
The MLS® HPI single family home benchmark price for the entire Greater Victoria region was $481,200 in January, a 1.7% decrease when compared to the January 2013 value of $489,400.
"Market activity increased as the month progressed," notes Ayres. "With REALTORS® reporting that attractively-priced and well-presented properties are moving quickly."
At the regional level, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home in the Core municipalities was $546,300, an increase of 0.6% over the previous month and a 0.5% decrease over January 2013. In Westshore, the MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home was $404,800, virtually unchanged from December 2013 and a 1.5 per cent decrease compared with January 2013. The MLS® HPI benchmark price for the single family benchmark home on the Peninsula was $497,200 for January, a decrease of 0.5% over the previous month and a 4.9% decrease year-over-year.
There were 3,489 active listings at the end of January, a 10% decrease over January 2013. "Available inventory slowly declined for most of 2013," says Ayres. "We will continue to monitor this trend and the impact on the market as 2014 unfolds."
There were 92 condominium sales in January 2014, the same as December 2013 and 81 in January 2013. The region-wide MLS® HPI benchmark price in January for condos was $276,800, down 1.7% from $281,600 from one year ago.
For townhomes, 30 sold in January compared to 32 in December 2013 and 40 in January 2013. The region-wide MLS® HPI benchmark price for townhomes was $398,000, up 0.7% from $395,400 in January 2013.
Total waterfront single family homes sold in January: 7
Total non-waterfront single family homes sold in January: 186
Total single family homes sold over $1 million in January: 10 (1 over $3 Million)
At the heart of the MLS® HPI is the concept of the "benchmark" home, a notional home that has the most common features of a typical home in a given area. The benchmark home does not represent any actual house, condominium or townhome, but merely provides an identical example to track changes in market value. There are separate benchmark houses, condominiums and townhomes in each distinct area of Greater Victoria, enabling the tracking of values on a variety of geographic levels.
For more information on the MLS® HPI benchmark prices and index values, visit www.vreb.org. Those requiring specific information on property values in their area should contact a REALTOR®. The Victoria Real Estate Board has more than 1,225 Members working in more than 80 Brokerages.